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About communicators…

2009-09-20

Before internet era one thing was easier for companies: in order to be reachable a company should have its own postal address and phone. Since each company must be registered under some address, the first is quite obvious. The phone number was also no problem – each company needed it anyway. At the begin of internet an e-mail arised – and also companies had quickly got used to it.

However, internet era has begun its second phase – Web 2.0 – and now things are no more so obvious.
Phone system is unified. If you have a phone, no matter what country on the world, no matter what telecommunication company – you can call any other phone owner. E-mail is also unified. You must only know your partner’s e-mail address and you can e-mail him from any of your e-mail accounts. But Instant Messaging have arised – and we don’t have here unification more.

You can ask” ‚Sso what. I have phone that works perfectly fine for me, I have e-mail that works perfectly fine for me, anyone who wants to can reach me.’ Well, you are right that anyone can reach you if he wants, but he may not prefer to contact YOU because someone other is… better available for him.
Internauts fell in love in instant messaging (IM). Communicators and chats are something between e-mail conversation and phone conversation. They are faster than e-mail. With e-mail you must wait until someone will check his mailbox, and he doesn’t know that somebody writed to him until he do the check. With phone the other party will be immediately notified, however you can answer only one phone call at the time, and phone call is 100% engaging. IM gets the other immediately notified, you can chat a lot of people in one time and is moderatly engaging (as engaging as you let it to be). Do you imagine calling someone via phone and not waiting until he answers because you are impatient and prefer to check gossips on yahoo? Well, IM’s such behaviour is nothing special. This is the way the IM users like to communicate, if you tell then to phone you they will not be comfortable because they don’t want to be 100% engaged by phone call, if you tell them to e-mail you, they will not be comfortable because e-mail gives no possibility to ‚push’ you to answer. And IM users are quite large group, as business owner you propably won’t like to ignore them.

So the best you can do is to make yourself available for IM users. Sounds easy? Well, don’t worry, it’s not. There are a lot of IM communicators and they are not unified. ICQ users can reach other ICQ users but not Jabber users or AOL users. There’s also skype, which can be used for both IM and free VoIP calls. For worse, there are regional communicators, which are more popular than mentioned above (for example, GG is polish IM, most popular in Poland). There are also modified mutations of standard protocols (f.g. closed, modified versions of Jabber protocol, such as polish Tlen). So bad news is, that if you want to encourage more people to communicate with you (increasing your sales target) you must install a lot of communicators and spend some time on creating IM accounts. It’s similar to the situation with social networking portals.

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